As a parent, most of us can make any juggler envious. We have many hats to wear and lots of responsibilities to carry. Time is always short and energy span, even shorter. So it is only natural to be impatient, and snap out an answer or two and to shorten the bed time hugs.
But let me tell you a story.
It was the first year after Hijra. Madina was under constant threat of invasion. The polytheists outside Madina were simply furious with the escape of Muslims and Rasulullah, SAW. The Jews inside Madina hadn’t declared their loyalties yet. Muslims of Makkah had left every worldly possession, even families, and have barely made it to Madina, empty handed and high strung. The Muslims of Madina were facing financial constraints because not only they had to feed and help the refugees but their whole socio-economic structure may collapse any day because of their welcoming Rasulullah, SAW, and the Makkan Muslims. The threat of an invasion was so imminent that Muslims needed to patrol the streets of Madina at night, armed.
Rasulullah, SAW, as the leader, had enormous responsibility and immense pressure on him. He had to not only defend his people from invasions of the enemy, he also had to take rapid actions to establish a truce with the powerful Jews. He had to make sure that this band of poor Muslism refugees did not stay in a broken spirit. He had to make sure that the Helpers of Madina did not falter under the pressure. And all the while he had to establish a new society, teach new laws of Islam to the people entering folds of Islam every day and the Wahee (revelation), which made him sweat in the cold of winter had increased in frequency.
And in all this chaos a small boy’s pet bird died. A small boy who was not related to Rasulullah, SAW. A small boy who didn’t live in the same house as Rasulullah, SAW. A small boy who didn’t see Rasulullah, SAW, every day. A small boy who didn’t care about the bigger scheme of things. A small boy who had his world shaken by the death of his beloved bird.
And in all that chaos and in all that confusion, in the time of hard work and mental consternation, Rsulullah, SAW, connected to that child in his grief. He bonded with him in his sorrow. He talked to him about his bird and taught him to face his pain. That one small child stricken with grief was as important to him, SAW, as establishing the whole society in Madina and making a future and identity for that small boy!
He talked to the kid not about the burden he, SAW, was carrying on his shoulders, but of that small bird and what it meant to the child.
That was our Rasulullah SAW who knew that small things are as important as the big things. Allahumma Sale ala Muhammad, wa ala aali Muhammad, kama sallaita ala Ibraheem, wa ala aali Ibraheem, innaka Hameedun Majeedun.